Multi-platform consumer media company Time Inc. has launched PetHero, a new paid membership program designed for the millions of pet owners in the US. Beginning this fall, PetHero membership will provide a range of benefits, including 25 percent discounts on all in-house medical services by participating veterinary practices. All pets are eligible for the services regardless of age, breed or health. Members will also receive pet toys and and treats in the boxes delivered to them. Membership plans begin at US$20 per month.

PetHero marks the first major consumer product introduced under Time Inc. President and CEO Rich Battista and his leadership team, which is developing another paid membership product to be launched before the end of 2017.

“PetHero was created to make it easier, more fun and more affordable for families to keep their pets happy and healthy,” said Leslie Dukker Doty, executive vice president of consumer marketing and revenue, the Time Inc. division driving the product introduction. “Offering a great discount on vet care nationwide, seasonal delivery of the latest toys and treats, an interactive community and more, PetHero will be an invaluable destination for our passionate and engaged group of pet owners, a group that is growing by the day,” said Dukker Doty in a press release.

Veterinary care spending in the pet industry

Veterinary care spending remains the second source of spending in the pet industry at US$15.95 billion. While routine veterinary visits have not necessarily increased, new advances in health care and services available may be contributing to the growth. Additionally, there is growing research on the human health benefits of pets, and research from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute shows that the more pet owners become aware of the health benefits of their pets, the more likely they are to take care of them.

The third highest source of spending is in supplies and over the counter (OTC) medications. Up 3.0 percent from 2015, US$14.71 billion was spent on items such as beds, collars, leashes, toys, travel items, clothing, food and water bowls, and other accessories in 2016.